Dependence Strength vs Need, Relationship

Dependence: Strength vs Need

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I’ve always considered myself a fairly independent person. I can hold my own in social situations, business interactions, and in dealing with people who come into our home to do work on it.

There’s almost a sense of pride in being able to grasp what a repairman is telling me when installing say, a new furnace . . . Until I attempt to relay it to hubby.

It’s so easy to think that I can be the strong one, weathering the pitfalls and challenges of life on my own. I’m good at keeping my life encapsulated, performing necessary tasks each day, for my family, for others.

The danger in living a self-contained life is that when I genuinely need help, I don’t reach out for it.

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Sometimes, it’s because I’m embarrassed. Other times it’s because of pride. And the feeling that I’ll be a burden to those I go to for help. All these reasons keep me from admitting my need.

Right now, God has placed me in a situation where I need others. I need people to help me out with various situations, with giving me occasional sanity breaks with our boys. I need people who can hold me up when I grow weary.

I need to give myself permission to be weak.

Because, let’s face it. No one can be strong all the time. God designed us to be dependent on Him and on others. When we try to be strong and independent, we create a brittleness within ourselves. We shut people out, denying them the blessings of helping and using their spiritual gifts.

There is strength in choosing to depend on others. And especially on God. There’s no shame in it. Instead, when we depend on others in a healthy way, it can create a beautiful picture.

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What takes more strength—doing everything for myself, regardless of how tough it is? Or leaning on another when the journey is more difficult than I can handle alone? Admitting that I have needs, and I don’t “have it all together?”

I believe it takes more strength and humility to reach out to someone else and ask for help. Knowing I might inconvenience them. Resting in the fact that those closest to me don’t mind being inconvenienced to help me.

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There is blessing in being able to help another. Relationships deepen when one person offers another the opportunity to meet a need. Hearts bond.

So, as I walk through a season of needing others, I am choosing to ask for help when I need it. Choosing to allow another to walk part of my journey holding me up.

What about you? What do you do when you need help with something? How do you feel when you help another?

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8 thoughts on “Dependence: Strength vs Need”

  1. It takes far more strength to ask for help, and to recognize that independence is ultimately an illusion.

    We stop being independent when we buy or use something we haven’t made or grown ourselves. I suspect that part of the appeal of the ‘post-apocalyptic’ books and movies is that they suggest that we can move beyond the dependent cycle of a consumer society, but the truth is that such a life would be nasty, brutish, and short. None of the chiseled heroes of print and screen.

    The best way to embrace a mutual dependence is to reach out, with those magic words, “Can I help you?” Offer to help a neighbor clean their gutters, or help a stranger load groceries into their car.

    The media is so full of silly moto imagery extolling the ability to stand alone, perhaps culminating, a few years ago, with the US Arm’s “An Army of One” ad campaign. It’s a pernicious way to fragment a society whose links need strengthening.

    We’re the Apostles, sailing Gallilee in the storm. We’ve got to pull together, until the Savior comes walking out to us on the waves.

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    1. Great thoughts here, Andrew. I love the idea that a way to embrace mutual dependence is to get eyes off of self and look for ways to help another. Your word picture of being the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, pulling together until Jesus comes. Thanks for that pondering point today.

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  2. We are so similar in that it’s hard to ask for help!! It’s hard to admit we aren’t strong. But there’s beauty in the letting go…in the asking. I’ve found that when I do, I’m blessed beyond measure.

    Praying for you in this time when you’re in deeper need of help than usual. 😉

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